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Low Cost, 3D Printed UAV Test Bed

3D Printing firm Solid Concepts has partnered with aerospace engineering firm Area-I to create a scale model of a 737 used to simulate real-world aerodynamics.
Named the Prototype-Technology Evaluation and Research Aircraft (PTERA), the model craft serves as an inexpensive and safe bridge between wind tunnel evaluations and manned flight tests. During each flight the PTERA is packed with sensors and flight test measurement systems that can help engineers get a safe view of the ways advanced aerodynamic treatments work under real flight conditions.
Built around a human sized airframe, the PTERA features ailerons, a fuel tank, control surfaces and flaps   created using Solid Concepts’ SLS printers. Given the tight tolerances required for components to fit both in the interior and on the exterior of the PTERA, additive manufacturing ensured that engineers could meet all of their design requirements.

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